This was the case when I wrote the first draft of my new medieval romance, Dangerous Favor. I already knew the hero, Etienne, from his original appearance in Loyalty’s Web. He was a little bit older and wiser now, but I knew his personality and physical appearance by heart. When my new heroine, Mathilde de Riavelle, appeared on the scene, she was a sweet, flaxen-haired willow-maid, pretty but not beautiful, full of romantic dreams, overly sheltered from the world, but fiercely loving and loyal.
One day, while strolling through my house, I walked past a decorative pillow that I had bought in a museum shop years before Dangerous Favor ever existed in my mind.
The pillow cover was a reproduction of a famous medieval tapestry called “Taste”, from the Lady and the Unicorn tapestry series. I glanced at the pillow and did a double-take. There, before my eyes, Mathilde de Riavelle was gazing back at me.
Now, if you look at the original tapestry (which you can do if you click here), you’ll find a lady with a high forehead, a longish nose, a little older, lovely but less whimsical than my Mathilde.
If there is a word to describe my Mathilde beyond “dreamy”, that would be it: “whimsical.” My pillow, as you can see, is not an exact reproduction of the original. It lacks some of the finer details of the tapestry. But this version is my Mathilde, her face filled with sweetness, the veil floating in the breeze representative of her long blonde hair imitating the veil’s gesture.
Nothing would make Mathilde happier, by the way, than to be immortalized in a tapestry. Stop by again next week and I’ll introduce you to Mathilde in action when I share with you Chapter 1 of Dangerous Favor here at JDP NEWS.